I became a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington in 2011, after obtaining my Master"s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2005 and nine years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. I have worked in schools, residential treatment centers, and outpatient settings, as well as on-site, in-home, and community locations. I am certified as an instructor in The Incredible Years parenting program. When I first meet with clients, I like to begin by spending time getting to know them as a person and hearing their stories.
I feel our therapy sessions should be a safe, respectful place that provides for your self-expression and growth.
Together we can discuss and explore the problems you are experiencing and you can formulate your own goals for the therapy.
My role as a therapist includes offering you (or you and your partner, your child, or your family) active listening, reflection, encouragement, helpful challenges, and constructive feedback. I often utilize motivational interviewing, experiential exercises, family system dynamics, and cognitive-behavioral techniques during sessions. With any type of therapy, it"s important to recognize that the therapeutic process will have ups and downs, with an occasional need for evaluation of progress, pace, and focus. You and I will discuss when it is time to conclude therapy, usually when your individual goals (or the goals for your child"s counseling) have been met.
With children and adolescents, I have found that play therapy and art therapy can be extremely helpful in facilitating the healing process. Children express themselves through activity. As a child therapist, I integrate toys, games, art, and sensory items like sand trays to help children feel comfortable and address a variety of problems. I use a positive relationship to support the child as they explore their feelings and learn how to express themselves in a healthy way.
I enjoy using humor and creativity both in therapy and in my everyday life as a wife and full-time step-mom. I grew up in both the Pacific Northwest and on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, where I learned how to scuba-dive and husk a coconut.
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